Grounds maintenance programme
Grounds & Estate Maintenance Spring and Summer Programme 2021
Following a busy, and cold Autumn/Winter we are preparing for our spring and summer season, which will include:
- Grass Cutting – weather permitting we will start mowing on or around 22nd March 2021, however we are hoping that work will start before this on some grass plots – you can expect grass to be cut approximately once every 4 weeks, but there will be no collecting of grass cuttings. Some locations do have the grass cut more frequently, however these are limited to a small number of historic locations, mainly around bungalows or formal areas.
- Update June 2021: Our grass cutting programme commenced in mid March, and after a cold but dry April where there was very slow grass growth, a warmer and wetter May has seen the grass start to bolt, and growth rates have been exceptional. We have scheduled additional mowing throughout June, and will keep this under review.
- Weed Control – our programme to treat weeds on hard surfaces around our Council Buildings, Housing Estates, Parks etc is also due to start at the end of March. We will be aiming to treat all areas twice this year – Please note that weed control on and around Highways and Footways is now undertaken by SERCO as part of their Street Cleansing programme.
- Summer Bedding – we will be preparing and planting out our summer bedding plants in our Parks and formal areas;
- Wildflowers – we will again be sowing wildflower seeds in a number of locations around Sandwell to provide a splash of colour as well as providing a habitat for insects and bees – we will also be looking to provide more ‘natural’ meadows and ‘wild life’ areas.
- Sports – we will continue to mark out, maintain and renovate approximately 40 football pitches (depending on fixtures and bookings) and 4 bowling greens.
- Waterbodies – we have recently established a small team to help look after Council Pools and Brookcourses. We are working on a programme of cleansing and vegetation management work to improve the quality of these locations.
- Hedgecutting - Due to legislation regarding nesting birds and their habitats, we do not undertake hedge cutting between March and August each year. From September we then carry out an extensive hedge cutting programme.
Please Note: Due to the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic we have measures in place to protect the health and safety of our Employees, including limiting the number of people in vehicles, additional cleansing and sanitisation of vehicles, tools and machinery etc. These measures may have an impact on when and how we are able to provide our Services, and we apologise if this may cause any inconvenience. We thank you for your support and understanding.
Mowing of Grassed Embankments & Raised Grassed Plots
Following guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), we wish to make you aware of the outcomes of a recent exercise that has been carried out to assess the risks regarding maintaining Grassed Embankments and Raised Grass plots.
The maintenance of grassed embankments and raised grassed plots poses additional risks to employees carrying out maintenance due to the increased possibility of slips, trips and falls, falling from height, and losing control of machinery etc.
Many of these locations will continue to be maintained as part of the regular grass mowing schedule, which is approximately, on average once every 4 weeks, from April to October each year.
We have, however, identified a number of ‘high’ risk locations that will now require specialist mowing techniques and/or equipment, and these locations will now be maintained on average 2-3 times each year, approximately every 2-3 months, and may not be undertaken at the same time as regular mowing.
If a grassed embankment near you has not been cut as part of the regular mowing schedule, you do not need to report it – we are aware of it and this work will be undertaken in due course but at a reduced frequency.
May we thank you for your co-operation in this matter.